It was an emotional morning of appointments with aspie boy. We met the psychologist who originally diagnosed him with Asperger's in 2009 - how long ago that seems, and how innocent I was then about the implications! And our appointment was with the doctor who had admitted my son to the local hospital on that dreadful day in September when the lack of help for my son finally resulted in a crisis. The doctor was delighted to see my son on a normal day, and the link between his anxiety and his anger issues was agreed. The verdict? As you were, for the next while anyway. And a follow up appointment in four months, so I feel vindicated at last. He's being monitored. They believe me.
|Before the Asperger's diagnosis|
Probably just as well, as Asperger's has been harder to handle since Christmas. He's just been 'difficult'. Almost everything is a battle, and then something you dread trying to organise is easy. So he's being unpredictable too, and that is also stressful. His anxiety levels are still high: he is terrified of catching something, that every bug is lethal, and every cut will cause him to bleed to death. He has also been complaining of tiredness since Christmas and using it as an excuse to opt out of everything at school and home. But there is no sign that he is tired, and I was delighted that the school has persuaded him to give up saying 'I'm too tired', for Lent. Now that's the kind of sacrifice that could have really positive results!
So that leads me on nicely to the second appointment, a meeting with his new teacher. Nice things were said, but some other stuff was not so good. It's scary. He is supposed to be starting secondary school in 18 months. A lot of progress needs to happen in that time if he is going to be able to cope. And how to choose a secondary school? I have had very little help indeed with this dilemma. You would think that I was the first person ever to query where to send a child with Asperger's and a high IQ.
|Earlier this evening|
So far the only good advice has been from his school, from Irish Autism Action and from my pal Jazzygal. As Jazzy says, I need to find the right school for him that will help him to survive and thrive during those crucial teenage years. But the local schools for kids with Asperger's are not highly academic, and the academic schools do not have so many resources for kids with Asperger's.
Do I prioritise the Aspergers or the academics? I just don't know right now, but a decision will have to be made soon. And even if I find the 'right' school, there is also no guarantee that he will get a place...
If you have any good advice, I'd love to hear it.
I've saved the good news till last. I have an obsession with preparing for the teenage years well in advance. With Angel I wanted to find the right school and encourage her love of sport, to keep her busy and away from less desirable teenage activities as far as possible!
With my son I'm working on the school and sports goals ... but I have another big worry too. Teenage boys can be smelly and careless about hygiene (although I don't remember this? Do teenage girls lose the use of their noses for a few years?) and that is something that worries me. Finally last week he started taking daily showers, on school days at least. It's taken many years to get to this point. There was the decision of bath versus shower, then morning versus evening, the right brand of shower gel (the orange one from Lidl in case you're interested). I started with one shower a week, and added an extra day for each birthday. His 'tiredness' (and mine) was used to move the shower time from evening to morning, and his anxiety about bugs was ruthlessly exploited by me to persuade him that daily showers would be healthier. Now I just have to keep it going....